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U..S consumer bureau to test electronic mortgage closings

Sold homes are seen in the southwest area of Portland, Oregon March 20, 2014. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
Sold homes are seen in the southwest area of Portland, Oregon March 20, 2014. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Borrowers seeking to buy a new home say they often do not have time to read final mortgage documents and sometimes find mistakes in their paperwork, the U.S. consumer watchdog said in a report on Wednesday.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it plans to help alleviate this confusion by testing electronic mortgage closing techniques that would give consumers more time to look over documents and make it easier to spot errors.

"We strongly believe that electronic closing solutions ... can lead to more knowledgeable consumers and a much better process for everyone involved," Richard Cordray, the bureau's director, said in prepared remarks for an event in Washington.

Some of the problems in the closing process could be addressed by mortgage disclosure rules the consumer bureau has already proposed, regulators said. The pilot would launch later this year with the goal of finding ways to make mortgage closings more efficient and minimizing surprises for borrowers, the bureau said.

Technology vendors and lenders can partner to submit proposals if they want to be part of the pilot test, the bureau said.

(Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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